Chelsea a disgrace and repugnant
Jose Mourinho was on the money.
Chelsea were a disgrace, a wretched shower of incompetence.
Oh, they were not a disgrace in any real, meaningful sense. Murderous dictators are a disgrace. Third-world debt is a disgrace. Simon Cowell's high waistbands are a disgrace.
No one died or succumbed to famine at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, so do not assume all perspective has been lost after a weekend of extraordinary FA Cup giant-killings.
But in sporting terms, Chelsea were a disgrace, practically repugnant.
There was something deeply unattractive about the Blues' lack of fight against such mediocre minnows (Bradford are seventh in League One).
That made the 4-2 fourth-round defeat of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich's playthings all the more satisfying (and Manchester City losing on the same day felt like Christmas, Hari Raya, Deepavali and Chinese New Year all at once), but no less irritating.
In the same way that a pasar malam second-hand phone trader should not outsmart Apple CEO Tim Cook at an IT conference, Chelsea should not have lost this game under any circumstances.
The Blues dominate the domestic transfer market, along with the muddled men from Manchester.
They artificially inflate the cost of homegrown talent. Like a bully tilting a pinball machine, they have created the least level playing field in English football history.
The ball always rolls their way.
So Chelsea's pre-game sense of entitlement was somewhere between patronising and offensive. Mourinho's "disgrace" comments were not necessarily inaccurate, but deeply disrespectful and unnecessary.
As the old song goes, teams like Bradford are s***. They know they are. That doesn't mean they want to be reminded of their second-class status from Mourinho like a wine-guzzling Roman Emperor reminding the poor how poverty-stricken they are.
The Chelsea manager was magnanimous in defeat. But he was mean in the build-up. He thoroughly deserved what came next.
So did his awful players.
Mourinho's decision to make nine changes didn't contribute to Chelsea's downfall. It was that entrenched sense of entitlement. There was an assumption that victory was assured, that the rich would prevail over the poor, no matter how indifferent or inept the performance.
Of course the harsh financial reality favoured the home side. The men on Chelsea's bench alone came with a collective £99 million ($199m) price tag.
Bradford were filled with freebies. Only one player was signed for cash. James Hanson joined for the princely sum of £7,500.
John Terry expects a larger fee to escort corporate suits around a private tour of the dressing room.
Money talks, but desire screams loudest. Bradford's endless industry silenced Stamford Bridge and shamed the home side.
Chelsea's spine included Petr Cech, Gary Cahill, Oscar, Cesar Azpilicueta, Ramires, Didier Drogba and Loic Remy, men blessed with international or World Cup experience and showered with silverware.
Cahill and Azpilicueta cantered as the Bantams sped away on the counter-attack. In midfield, the Blues probed with all the conviction of an orthodontist's intern and the front pair did nothing except underline Diego Costa's incalculable value.
Chelsea's inherent arrogance was their undoing, as it was for Manchester City, Manchester United and even Liverpool to a degree.
For too long now, the Premier League has operated in a vacuum, isolated from the real world and bereft of common sense.
It's the self-proclaimed best league in the world, but seldom snares either the Champions League trophy or, more pertinently, the best players in the world.
Europe and South America's rising starlets have always dreamt of joining either Real Madrid or Barcelona, now scrawny kids from Cardiff harbour similar hopes.
EPL THE BEST?
It's not all about the Premier League any more and hasn't been for some time. Perhaps someone should tell the Premier League.
But then, Bradford made the point pretty clearly on Saturday.
The brilliant Bantams defied every stat, fact and historical tidbit. Before yesterday, Mourinho had never conceded four goals at home at any of his clubs across four European leagues.
Chelsea hadn't shipped four against a third-tier side since January 1958. They hadn't conceded more than two goals at the Bridge all season.
The Blues only had to guard against complacency, but they failed. They expected victory without valour.
They had the superior pedigree, but not the stomach. They brought a feather duster to a knuckleduster fight.
Cup killings always shock and embarrass. But this was an amazing disgrace.
LAST NIGHT'S RESULTS
- Bristol City 0 West Ham 1
- Aston Villa 2 Bournemouth 1
'It's like beating Barca'
WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU, BANTAMS: Bradford's players celebrate Filipe Morais' (No. 20) goal. - PHOTO: REUTERS
Bradford co-chairman Mark Lawn believes Saturday's 4-2 FA Cup fourth-round victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge was "the ultimate" achievement.
The League One side, two divisions below the English Premiership, were on their way out after Gary Cahill and Ramires gave Chelsea a 2-0 lead after 38 minutes.
However, Jon Stead gave the visitors hope by halving the arrears shortly before the break. Filipe Morais, a former Chelsea youth player, equalised and Andy Halliday gave them a shock lead.
Chelsea, the EPL leaders, pushed for a late leveller, but Bradford ensured their place in today's fifth-round draw through Mark Yeates' injury-time strike.
"This is an ultimate, to beat Chelsea, who I think will go on and win the Champions League - it really is," said Lawn.
"I've been saying it's like beating Barcelona. Someone texted me and they said the side they put out against us was worth about £100 million ($201m) and ours was worth £7,500.
"I am a bit stunned still, I'm not pinching myself in case I was dreaming.
"Man United, Liverpool (in the next round), that would be nice."
Jose Mourinho conceded defeat when Bradford's fourth goal went in early in the six minutes of stoppage time, offering his counterpart Phil Parkinson a handshake, which was refused.
Parkinson said: "At that point, there were three-and-a-half minutes left. I wasn't getting drawn into that.
"Two-goal leads are great, but they can be quickly reduced. We just wanted to stay focused on the result until the whistle went.
"If Chelsea had got one back, even at that late stage, with the world-class players they had on the pitch, they could easily have got a second."
"I don't think he meant to be disrespectful. He came into the dressing room afterwards and shook everyone's hand. That was a real touch of class."
Parkinson now wants to take on Manchester United in the fifth round, if they can get past Cambridge in the replay.
Ahead of today's fifth-round draw, Parkinson told the Football Association: "I'm sure if we went to Old Trafford, we'd probably have about 15,000 fans there, and it would be nice to give all the ones who couldn't get tickets today another day of Cup football."
- PA Sport.
David v Goliath
How did £200 million ($403m) worth of talent fall to a team which cost £7,500 to assemble?
That was exactly what happened when Bradford stunned Chelsea 4-2 in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.
Supermarket shelf stacker James Hanson was the only member of the Bradford squad at Stamford Bridge to cost the club when he joined the League One side from Guiseley in 2009 for £7,500.
The rest of Phil Parkinson's heroes were stitched together by a mixture of free transfers and loan deals.
In contrast, Jose Mourinho had £200m worth of talent, with the substitutes alone costing £99m.
CHELSEA'S FIRST 11 AND THEIR COSTS
Petr Cech £7m
Andreas Christensen Trainee
Kurt Zouma £12m
Gary Cahill £7m
Cesar Azpilicueta £6.5m
Jon Obi Mikel £4m
Mohamed Salah £11m
Didier Drogba Free
Loic Remy £8.5m
Cesc Fabregas £30m
Nathan Ake Trainee
Eden Hazard £32m
Thibaut Courtois £5m
John Terry Trainee
Ruben Loftus-Cheek Trainee
TOTAL COST £200,000,000
BRADFORD'S FIRST 11 AND THEIR COSTS
Ben Williams Free
Stephen Darby Free
Rory McArdle Free
Andrew Davies Free
James Meredith Free
Billy Knott Free
Gary Liddle Free
Filipe Morais Free
Andy Halliday Free
James Hanson £7,500
Jon Stead Loan
Alan Sheehan Free
Billy Clarke Free
Francois Zoko Loan
Mark Yeates Free
Jason Kennedy Free
Chris Routis Free
Matthew Urwin Free
TOTAL COST £7,500
Punter pockets $73k from $4 bet
Three lucky punters in the UK cashed in on the shock results in the FA Cup on Saturday.
A risk paid off for one punter when he won £36,000 ($72,500) for a £2 stake on Chelsea and Manchester City being dumped out of the competition, reported the Daily Mail.
Another punter had £100 on the Middlesbrough and Bradford double and he was £29,000 richer at full-time.
Completing the trio of huge wins, a £2 five-fold bet including Bradford, Boro, Leicester (who beat Tottenham), Crystal Palace (who knocked Southampton out at St Mary's) and Derby (who defeated Chesterfield) won an unexpected £24,000.
After the shocks of Saturday, Manchester United, who were held to a goalless draw by League Two side Cambridge United last Friday, have been installed as the bookmakers' favourites to lift the trophy while holders Arsenal, who played Brighton this morning (Singapore time) are second favourites. - Wire Services.